One of the goals under the United Nations’ Agenda 2030 plan is Sustainable Development Goal 7 (“SDG7”).
We are told that the whole point of “sustainable development” is to mitigate the problems that will supposedly be caused by humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions (“GHG”).
This fairy tale has left most people labouring under the illusion that SDG7 energy transition, and the variations on the associated “net zero” policy commitment, will reduce CO2 emissions. That assumption is wrong.
Target 7.2 of SDG7 commits the world to substantially increase the use of renewable energy in the global “energy mix.” It has two big strikes against it. For one, it ignores the monumental risks involved. For another, it does not say nor even imply that developed nations or multinational energy corporations – the so-called “big polluters” – need to necessarily reduce their GHG emissions, they can trade carbon credits.
By trading carbon credits and creating a scarcity of materials, which Big Business also cashes in on, the super-rich sees SDG7 as a method to enrich themselves at the cost of and to the detriment of the poor.
As part of an Unlimited Hangout investigative series titled ‘Sustainable Slavery’, Iain Davis wrote an essay about the impossible energy transformation. Below is the abridged version of his essay. The abridged essay itself is lengthy so we have split it into two parts. This is the second part. You can read the first part HERE. We have used the same section titles, in the same order, as the original essay for ease of reference. You can read Davis’ detailed, well-referenced and very informative essay HERE.
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The Duplicitous Global Carbon Market
The Kyoto Protocol, adopted in 1997, established three “flexible” international carbon trading and offsetting mechanisms: Emission Trading, the Clean Development Mechanism (“CDM”) and Joint Implementation (“JI”).
Carbon trade is the buying and selling of credits that permit a company or other entity to emit a certain amount of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases. The carbon credits and the carbon trade are authorised by governments with the goal of gradually reducing overall carbon emissions and mitigating their contribution to climate change. Carbon trading is also referred to as carbon emissions trading.Carbon Trade: Definition, Purpose, and How Carbon Trading Works, Investopedia, 1 September 2022
But when you discover how this global market operates, the fluffy language used to sell it to us – climate change and carbon emissions – is exposed.
The UN believes that there is no need for developed nations to reduce their carbon emissions to meet SDGs, stating:
These mechanisms [Emission Trading, the CDM & the JI] ideally encourage GHG abatement to start where it is most cost-effective, for example, in the developing world. It does not matter where emissions are reduced, as long as they are removed from the atmosphere. This has the parallel benefits of stimulating green investment in developing countries and including the private sector in this endeavour to cut and hold steady GHG emissions at a safe level. [emphasis our own]
In 2018, Carbon Market Watch (“CMW”) released a report which highlighted what “sustainable development” meant for people living in developing nations quoting examples in Uganda, India, Chile and Guatemala where projects blocked access to land vital for livelihoods, exacerbated land right conflicts, destroyed social cohesion within villages, and damaged ecosystems and biodiversity.
Three years later, CMW’s 2021 report noted that large-scale corporate forestry conservation projects in Colombia were routinely overestimating the carbon sequestration value by millions of tonnes of GHG sequestration, generating over 20 million dodgy carbon credits. These credits were then traded on the carbon market.
Currently, the carbon trading market value stands at around $2 billion annually, but it is set to grow rapidly, approaching a compound annual growth rate (“CAGR”) of 30% – very attractive to globalist investors.
The underlying problem of carbon market corruption, which hasn’t yet been tackled, was highlighted in 2019 in a Financial Times report: “Carbon offsetting is shaping up to be the greatest mis-selling scandal since the Dominican friar Johann Tetzel sold pardons to redeem the dead.”
The CDM allows governments and corporations to “offset” their own emissions by investing in projects they designate as “green.”
One example is the French energy giant TotalEnergies. It has reportedly barred 400 Congolese farmers and their families from accessing their own land so that TotalEnergies can claim carbon credits for planting trees on the Bateke Plateau. This will allow TotalEnergies to “offset,” without actually reducing, its CO2 emissions by the equivalent amount.
The lives of the Congolese farmers and their families are seemingly irrelevant. One of the affected farmers, Clarisse Louba Parfaite, said that, from the farmer’s perspective, the objective appeared to be “to kill us, to send us back to being slaves again like in the past.”
One conclusion we can glean from such examples is that there is a plan afoot to exploit “sustainability” in order to thwart economic development in the Global South and that this plan is a core element of SDG7.
Profiteering From Manufactured Scarcity
SDG7’s Target 7.b describes the UN’s objective of expanding the technological infrastructure to supply “sustainable energy services for all in developing countries.”
At COP27 last November, John Kerry extolled the virtues of the Energy Transition Accelerator (“ETA”). This is a global public-private partnership (“G3P”) between the US State Department, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bezos Earth Fund.
The ETA is part of a $4.2 trillion capital investment initiative that exploits Target 7.b which specifies the Global South as the pilot region for the worldwide transformation of energy markets. In his remarks, Kerry said:
This initiative, the Energy Transition Accelerator, will capitalise private capital to accelerate the energy transition in developing countries, supporting the rapid deployment of renewables and delivering deeper and earlier emission reductions … Our intention is to put the Carbon Market to work to deploy capital to speed the transition from dirty to clean power, specifically for two purposes – to retire unabated coal fired power stations and accelerate renewables.
While developed nations have benefited from the reliable energy that has enabled their industrial revolutions, poorer nations will not have that privilege. Instead, through G3P initiatives like the ETA and global investment strategies like the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), they will be forced to accept practically useless renewables.
Not surprisingly, under this SDG target, the Global South nations are horribly and helplessly exposed to financial and economic abuse. It is no coincidence that the drive towards SDG7 has suddenly created “scarcity” in a number of international commodity markets, especially cobalt, lithium, copper and, of course, oil. Oil is essential to manufacture the vast amount of plastics renewable energy necessitates. This engineered “scarcity” in turn amplifies the opportunity for skulduggery.
For example, the Bezos Earth Fund’s capital investment in the ETA is a shrewd move by Jeff Bezos. He and partners Michael Bloomberg, Ray Dalio and Bill Gates are also investing in global mining operations that will provide the nickel, copper, cobalt and platinum required for the ETA “renewable energy” transition in developing nations.
“Sustainable development” initiatives like the ETA will create practically limitless demand for these commodities. As that demand inevitably outstrips supply, these metals will become increasingly “scarce.” And Jeff Bezos’ public-private partnership profits will soar.
Gates, Dalio and Bezos have also teamed up with other multibillionaire “philanthropists,” such as Chinese tech entrepreneur Jack Ma and UK business magnate Richard Branson, to form Breakthrough Energy Ventures (“BEV”), which will invest in the scarcity they are manufacturing.
One of BEV’s start-up investments is in KoBold metals, a Californian exploration firm that uses AI and machine learning to identify global battery metal deposits. Through KoBold, Gates, Bezos and Ma et al. have invested $150M in the Zambian copper mining Mingomba project.
Now is a good time to invest, because the demand created by trying to achieve the impossible renewable energy transition has made large-scale mining for resources like copper increasingly profitable, and therefore viable.
Multinational mining corporations are producing huge profits from copper mining in Zambia. The estimated 90,000 jobs created there is an economic benefit to Zambians. But the environmental and health costs have been marked.
It is estimated that the world will need to produce up to an additional 10 million metric tonnes of copper by 2030 to meet the SDG7 transition to renewable energy. While this creation of new and reinvigorated markets will benefit investors and multinational mining corporations, it is also guaranteed that the environmental damage and community losses will be immense.
Carbon Pricing: A Bizarre Economic Model
Once the costs of resource acquisition, manufacturing and energy are accounted for, renewable energy is considerably more expensive, both environmentally and economically, than the equivalent fossil fuel or nuclear alternatives.
Despite the nonsensical claims of governments – such as the UK government referring to renewable energy as “low-cost” – most people can grasp that it is actually more expensive than traditional sources of energy. Breakthrough Energy Catalyst (“BEC”) calls this additional cost the “Green Premium.”
BEC, funded by the Gates and Bezos-backed BEV, perhaps unsurprisingly maintains that renewable energy costs more than “high-emission” solutions, not because of the monumental level of resources required to produce it but rather because fossil fuels are priced incorrectly.
Investors like Gates and his partners are proposing a new form of economics. Using questionable scientific models and making predictions that have invariably been proven wrong, they suggest artificially inflating the price of anything and everything they arbitrarily decide is not “green.”
The scarcity of the metals needed for renewable energy generation and storage will inevitably push up, not lower, the price of copper, lithium and cobalt and other natural resources. Governments could provide subsidies, but that would not be a savings, rather an additional cost to be borne by the taxpayer. The more likely course governments will take is the one they are in fact planning – and that is to tax fossil fuel production, thereby making it more expensive. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) describes this carbon tax as:
An instrument of environmental cost internalisation. It is an excise tax on the producers of raw fossil fuels based on the relative carbon content of those fuels.
The EU has decided to get the ball rolling with its carbon-based border tax. The way this EU pricing mechanism is proposed to work reveals the underlying duplicity of the carbon markets. Importers will still be able to import but they will have to buy corresponding carbon removal certificates. While this increases the cost of doing business, it doesn’t actually reduce carbon emissions.
Specifically, switching to renewables will “increase electricity costs by 15%,” BEC notes. In other words, the fact that EU imports will have an effective carbon tax slapped on them doesn’t necessarily make renewable energy a cheaper option. Indeed, as pursuit of SDG7 creates global scarcity, the cost of renewable energy, which is already greater than that of fossil fuels, is set to rise even higher.
The Carbon Offset Charade
The “carbon market” Kerry exalted will also allow “the big polluters” to further offset their alleged pollution by purchasing carbon credits. This mechanism allows governments in developed nations, working with their stakeholder partners, to claim they are moving toward “net zero” without reducing their CO2 emissions.
For example, the UK government, with its commitment to “Net Zero,” has used UK taxpayers’ money to subsidise Drax Group Ltd’s conversion of Selby Power Station to burn wood pellets instead of coal. Drax claims that “the use of biomass pellets reduces our carbon emissions by 80% compared to coal.” This isn’t true, though some creative “climate science” makes it appear true. Amongst others:
- Wood pellets are less energy-dense than coal. A lot more wood pellets than coal must be burned to produce the same amount of energy.
- If wood pellet biomass really were “carbon neutral,” as Drax claims, then the total global forested landmass should be growing. But that landmass is, in fact, being reduced. Burning wood pellets simply emits more CO2 than burning coal.
- There is no evident rationale for the claim that CO2 emissions from burning wood pellet biomass should be zero.
- The pellets for Drax’s Selby plant are shipped across the Atlantic Ocean, in the immense volume required, in huge diesel-powered tankers from North America. None of the energy costs of the forestry, logging operations, processing and transport of the produced wood pellets are factored into calculations.
But that is no impediment for Drax, which has signed the largest carbon credit deal in history. Drax will earn carbon credit “certificates” by emitting more CO2 from wood pellets than it would if it were burning coal.
Companies like Cemex, the US concrete manufacturing giant; Alphabet (Google’s parent company) with offices and energy networks spread across the globe; the car manufacturer General Motors; and the oil giant Shell can then buy the Drax credits, thus reducing their “carbon footprint” and also claiming they are “green.”
This arrangement will help Cemex et al. export their goods and services into the EU market. They can exchange their purchased carbon credits for the necessary carbon removal certificates. Both the EU and these global corporations can claim they have reduced their carbon footprint without actually reducing their CO2 emissions at all.
None of this blatant duplicity undermines the UK government’s enthusiasm for its “net zero” policy. Following its post pseudopandemic pledge to “build back greener,” the UK government’s Net Zero Strategy epitomised the SDG7 deceit.
Anyone who dares question this “sustainable development” model is castigated as a climate or science “denier.” Climate change is the new global religion. Doubting what we are told about it – and ordered to believe about it – is heresy.
Meanwhile, climate alarmist celebrities fly around the world in their private jets, lecturing us on how we need to reduce our carbon footprints because, unlike displaced Congolese farmers, they have the wealth to “offset” them by planting some trees.
The alarmists’ delusional, empty rhetoric completely ignores the immense danger to humanity that sustainable development and the mindless pursuit of SDG7 represents.
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